New Jersey tribe keeping Lenape history alive through drums and music

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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A man and his tribe are passing along their Lenape history by living it. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at 12 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2018.

In the Lenape Community Center in Bridgeton, New Jersey, the native traditions live on, under the guidance of Chief Mark Quiet Hawk Gould.

"In order to keep our culture alive, you have to practice it," said Gould, Chief of the Lenape.

The adults work with the children, making native crafts.

"They're our future, so we want to pass on all our tribal culture and traditions so they can continue this for generations and generations," said Linda Bright Star Jackson, Indian Educational Teacher.

"Most of the things on this table have a spiritual connotation," Gould said. "Making a drum, the first thing you do is pray."

Gould has passed on the art of drum-making. The drums are an important part of Lenape ceremonies. The drum makers put water in some to create unique tones.

Gould is just one of the adults who has passed along his knowledge and skills to the next generation.

But there is one thing Gould is not allowed.

"The only thing they won't let me do is sing," Gould said.

Having passed along his skills and his passion, Gould is happy to let the next generation carry on.

"Oh, I'm proud. Look, I'm 76. Did I do everything that I can? And I feel like, yes, I have," he said.


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